It’s crunch time for Bob Iger if the outgoing Disney executive chairman wants to announce another gig before he leaves the company at the end of the year. Several options are still on the table, I’m told, but one potential scenario could be particularly interesting: NBA owner. Iger has told at least a couple friends that he’d love to front a bid for the Phoenix Suns if the hoops team were to become available, which it just might in the next couple months.
To be clear, there haven’t been any formal conversations, and Iger’s Disney rep declined to comment. But if you haven’t been following, Robert Sarver, the Suns’ controlling owner, was the subject of a damning ESPN report earlier this month that alleged a bunch of bad behavior, including using the n-word in front of a Black head coach, passing around pictures of his wife in a bikini, and asking a female employee if he “owned” her. NBA commissioner Adam Silver launched an investigation of Sarver, the results of which are expected in the next few months.
If the probe fails to unearth additional bombshells, most NBA people believe Sarver won’t be forced to sell. But smoke often signals fire, and the investigation is being handled by the Wachtell Lipton law firm, which also looked at L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s use of racist language before Sterling was forced to sell the team in 2014. Steve Ballmer then bought the Clippers for $2 billion as his follow-up move after stepping down as Microsoft C.E.O.